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Overview

Massachusetts has no legislation targeting advocacy for Palestinian rights in effect. Lawmakers have proposed several anti-boycott bills, including two that are currently pending. Civil rights groups and state-level advocates have organized successful campaigns to defeat these bills.

State Legislation

Legislation
H 2722
Status
Pending
Introduced
January 2019
Type(s)
Anti-boycott, State Contracts
Full Text
Read H 2722 

This anti-boycott bill prohibits state contracts with entities that adopt and apply boycotts in a discriminatory manner. The bill amends Massachusetts’ debarment law in order to penalize contractors that adopt “policies against any sovereign nation or peoples recognized by the government of the United States which are used to discriminate in violation of any state or federal law prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations or employment.” Debarred companies are prohibited from contracting with the state for a prescribed period of time. Boycotts for Palestinian rights based on an entity’s complicity in Israel’s violations do not discriminate against a protected class and thus fall outside the scope of the bill. However, the lawmakers who put forward these bills have stated their intent to exclude individuals and companies engaged in boycotts for Palestinian rights from state contracts. 

Legislation
H 2719
Status
Pending
Introduced
January 2019
Type(s)
Anti-boycott, State Contracts
Full Text
Read H 2719 

This anti-boycott bill requires persons entering into state contracts to provide written certification that they are in full compliance with state anti-discrimination laws and are not and will not for the duration of the contract refuse to do business with any person on the basis of that person’s religion, sex, national original, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The bill does not apply to contracts worth less than $10,000. Boycotts for Palestinian rights based on an entity’s complicity in Israel’s violations do not discriminate on the basis of a protected class and thus fall outside the scope of the bill. However, the lawmakers who put forward these bills have stated their intent to exclude individuals and companies engaged in boycotts for Palestinian rights from state contracts. Similar bills failed to pass in 2017-2018 following pressure from state-level advocates.

Defeated Legislation

Legislation
HD 4156
Status
Defeated
Defeated On
December 2016
Type(s)
Anti-boycott, State Investments
Full Text
Read HD 4156 

This anti-boycott bill prohibits state investments in companies that boycott Israel or companies based in Israel or territories occupied by Israel. The bill calls for the creation of a blacklist of companies that engage in such boycotts and requires public retirement systems to divest direct holdings from blacklisted companies.

Defeated Legislation

Legislation
S 1689
Status
Defeated
Defeated On
December 2018
Type(s)
Anti-boycott, State Contracts
Full Text
Read S 1689 

This anti-boycott bill requires persons entering into state contracts to provide written certification that they are in full compliance with state anti-discrimination laws and are not and will not for the duration of the contract refuse to do business with any person on the basis of that person’s religion, sex, national original, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The bill does not apply to contracts worth less than $10,000. Boycotts for Palestinian rights based on an entity’s complicity in Israel’s violations do not discriminate on the basis of a protected class and thus fall outside the scope of the bill. However, the lawmakers who put forward these bills have stated their intent to exclude individuals and companies engaged in boycotts for Palestinian rights from state contracts. State-level organizing helped defeat these bills. Related bill: H 1685.

Defeated Legislation

Legislation
H 1685
Status
Defeated
Defeated On
December 2018
Type(s)
Anti-boycott, State Contracts
Full Text
Read H 1685 

This anti-boycott bill requires persons entering into state contracts to provide written certification that they are in full compliance with state anti-discrimination laws and are not and will not for the duration of the contract refuse to do business with any person on the basis of that person’s religion, sex, national original, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The bill does not apply to contracts worth less than $10,000. Boycotts for Palestinian rights based on an entity’s complicity in Israel’s violations do not discriminate on the basis of a protected class and thus fall outside the scope of the bill. However, the lawmakers who put forward these bills have stated their intent to exclude individuals and companies engaged in boycotts for Palestinian rights from state contracts. State-level organizing helped defeat these bills. Related bill: S 1689.

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